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In Depth: Africa

10 Aug 2003

Taylor is Out

Michael J. Totten's blog Sometimes the threat of force works wonders all by itself, so long as the threat is credible. Charles Taylor has feld Liberia into exile in Nigeria. He wasn’t driven out by years of civil war but by a cocked American gun. ...

2 Sep 2003

Race: Human

Michael J. Totten's blog James Lileks : I’m lucky; I don’t know where I come from. We have some theories, but they’re just that. One side of my lineage dead-ends in an adoption; the other trails off in Europe, east of Paris. Don’t know. Don’t. Care. ...

7 Jan 2004

History and Total War

Michael J. Totten's blog When I was a teenager and first learned about the Holocaust, something precious and small, not hope but perhaps faith , slipped away and was lost to me forever. I have read about it in books. I have seen it in movies by ...

17 Mar 2004

More Trouble for Spain?

Michael J. Totten's blog Spaniards may think they won a reprieve from terrorism, but Lee Smith argues in Slate that there may be more trouble ahead . If the Spanish electorate believed that committing 1,300 troops to Iraq had needlessly exposed it to ...

4 Apr 2004

The Trouble with Fallujah

Michael J. Totten's blog What happened in Fallujah was a barbaric horror show. Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down explains in the Wall Street Journal (free registration required) why it needs to be answered with force. It is a mistake to conclude ...

12 Apr 2004

Tripoli and Fallujah

Michael J. Totten's blog In three months my wife and I are going to Italy to visit some friends in Milan. While we’re in the neighborhood we figure we’ll hop on over the Mediterranean and bum around Tunisia for a week. (Why Tunisia? Read this .) It ...

19 May 2004

Brandon Mayfield Released

Michael J. Totten's blog My fellow Portlander Brandon Mayfield was arrested a while back because his fingerprint supposedly showed up on evidence connected to the terror attacks in Madrid. Turns out the fingerprint belonged to an Algerian national. ...

23 May 2004

Winds of Change

Michael J. Totten's blog Tossing Saddam in the slammer keeps yielding intended benefits . TUNIS (Reuters) – Arab governments, responding to a U.S. campaign for Arab democracy, have promised to carry out political and social reforms in an oil-rich ...

26 Jun 2004

In Ottawa

Michael J. Totten's blog I’m in Ottawa, Canada, mildly jet-lagged and severely sleep-deprived. I was going to post some photos and commentary, but tonight it ain’t happening. First thing tomorrow (Monday) morning I go to the Libyan embassy to pick up ...

29 Jun 2004

To the Sahara

Michael J. Totten's blog We’re off. We leave for Rome in a few hours. Tonight will be the third night in five where I spend the night on an airplane. The day after we get to Rome we fly to Tunisia. Thank God that’s a short one. By the time we get ...

4 Jul 2004

On the Edge of the Sahara

Michael J. Totten's blog I am writing on an alien keyboard so I will have to keep this brief. Half the letters are in the wrong place and typing is hard. I may be able to write more easily in a few days when I get back to a large city. Also, you see ...

8 Jul 2004

The South is a Desert

Michael J. Totten's blog DOUZ, Tunisia – The sand gets in your teeth. This is not the sand you know. Not the rim of pulverized granules of silicon and rock that ring the beaches of the world, nor the finely ground dirt of the Great Basin, the Mojave, ...

14 Jul 2004

The North is a Garden

Michael J. Totten's blog The fine old Tunis medina is an ancient maze of twisting streets, carpet stalls, cafes, shuttered windows, arched passageways, minarets, hanging baskets, gypsum lamps, scavenging cats, and secret paths. Western rap music ...

24 Jul 2004

A Photo Tour of Tunisia

Michael J. Totten's blog Here is the North African coastline along the Gulf of Tunis as seen from the cliffside seaside village of Sidi Bou Said. In the days of Carthage the pagan God Baal was worshipped in a sanctuary atop the larger mountain Djebel ...

26 Jul 2004

Kerry: Stop Genocide in Sudan

Michael J. Totten's blog So far, the supposedly anti-war candidate John Kerry has articulated the most forceful position yet against genocide in Sudan. I believe in the value of American leadership in the world. Today, a massive humanitarian crisis ...

8 Aug 2004

Catching Up Here

Michael J. Totten's blog It’s amazing how quickly a guy can get behind on the news. I spent the weekend up in Seattle visiting some writer friends and being generally unplugged from whatever’s going on in the world. I’m not completely out of it like ...

17 Nov 2004

Travel Writing

Michael J. Totten's blog My worst kept secret is that I would rather write about travel than politics — although I enjoy political writing, too, or I wouldn’t bother with it. This year I finally got to do a little travel writing. And if things go my ...

30 Nov 2004

Weirder Than Libya

Michael J. Totten's blog When you visit another country you meet other people who are also visiting the country. Inevitably you’ll discuss other places you’ve been. If you go to Costa Rica you’ll meet people who’ve been to Guatemala and Bolivia. Go ...

4 Dec 2004

No, the Dungeons Aren’t Charming

Michael J. Totten's blog Cliff May, founder of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote the following post for The Corner . THE DUNGEONS ARE PARTICULARLY CHARMING THIS TIME OF YEAR The New York Times Travel section this week features Libya, ...

2 Jan 2005

Who’s Stingy?

Michael J. Totten's blog Jonathan Last notes that tsunami relief donations from rich Muslim countries are – shall we say – stingy compared with Japanese, Taiwanese, and Western donations. I don’t expect fat aid packages from Afghanistan and Somalia. ...

16 Jan 2005

Hotel Rwanda

Michael J. Totten's blog My new Tech Central Station column is up. It’s a review of Hotel Rwanda . Africa Rwanda ...

9 Feb 2005

Programming Note

Michael J. Totten's blog This Sunday I’m going to Puerto Rico for ten days. I’ve been travelling more than ever lately. I went to both Europe and North Africa twice in three months, and I went to the East Coast twice in one week. But this time Shelly ...

27 Feb 2005

The Murderous Reign of Saddam Hussein

Michael J. Totten's blog The Iraqi Truth Project has released a DVD documentary called Weapon of Mass Destruction: The Murderous Reign of Saddam Hussein . One of my favorite historians, Victor Davis Hanson, and one of the best up-and-coming ...

5 Apr 2005

Lethal passivity

Michael J. Totten's blog Posted by Mary Madigan Via Instapundit : Former UN human rights lawyer Kenneth Cain describes Kofi Annan’s “passive capitulation to evil” in his Sunday Observer article, “How many more must die before Kofi quits?” Before I ...

7 Apr 2005

Weekend Reading

Michael J. Totten's blog Posted by Jeremy Brown The weekend is a good time to catch up on those stories that the mainstream press is doing a lousy job of covering (meaning, I guess, stories not about the Pope or Michael Jackson). It seems to me that ...

10 Aug 2005

Darfur Comes to Portland

Michael J. Totten's blog I saw these posters stapled to telephone polls in my neighborhood today. Here is a link to the Protect Darfur Web site. It was put together by the Aegis Trust for Genocide Prevention. Africa Sudan Genocide ...

11 Aug 2005

It’s Not All About Us

Michael J. Totten's blog My new Tech Central Station column is up: Islamists have killed thousands of Westerners over the past couple of years — thousands in New York City alone. But they have killed far more of their own fellow Muslims in ...

18 Aug 2005

A Nice Story for a Change

Michael J. Totten's blog I’ve been to the Middle East three times in the past year, if you count Arab North Africa as a cultural extention of the Middle East. (I do.) Whenever I say I’m heading out, almost everyone I know is startled at what they ...

20 Aug 2005

Drifters

Michael J. Totten's blog Callimachus comes up with a geographic political metaphor over at Donklephant. [T]he nation as a whole has drifted right. So [the] old center-right is now more like center-center. Maybe we’re working on a continental drift ...

21 Aug 2005

The Bosnia of Our Time

Michael J. Totten's blog I argue in my new Tech Central Station column that Darfur in Sudan is the Bosnia of our time . Hardly anyone wants to talk or think about this – including me, which is why I haven’t said much about it until now. It’s ...

17 Sep 2005

“We Don’t Have Camels Here”

Michael J. Totten's blog The romance of Araby is famously, powerfully, intoxicating. T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia) is the most well-known Westerner who fell under the spell of the Arabs, and there are a host of others: Gertrude Bell, Alfred Thesiger, ...

25 Sep 2005

New Site Banner

Michael J. Totten's blog Thanks to Charles Johnson for designing a new site banner for me just in time for my six month trip to the Middle East. (If the old one still appears click Refresh in your browser.) The picture on the left was taken of me by ...

4 Oct 2005

Hitchhiking the Chouf

Michael J. Totten's blog If you aren’t used to the climate, Beirut can be unbearably hot even in October. The Mediterranean is a steam bath. Mount Lebanon, which normally dominates the view to the east, is obscured behind a thick humid haze. I feel ...

6 Nov 2005

Paris: The Beirut of Europe

Michael J. Totten's blog They say Beirut is the Paris of the Middle East. Does that mean Paris is the Beirut of Europe? Or is that an insult to Beirut? Paris has been on fire for 11 days now. The violence is out of control and it’s spreading. Some ...

9 Dec 2005

Arrival in Egypt

Michael J. Totten's blog Many thanks to Lebanon.Profile for substitute blogging while my Internet access and free time to write were lacking. Be sure to bookmark and blogroll his Lebanese Political Journal if you enjoyed reading his comments here. I ...

30 May 2006

Leave Beirut Out of It

Michael J. Totten's blog Yesterday I wrote “The UN blames Lebanon for starting the latest round of fighting [on the Lebanese/Israeli border], which is dumb.” I am slightly surprised that only two people argued with me in the comments, but I’ll ...

12 Oct 2006

“Darfur is Rwanda in Slow Motion”

Michael J. Totten's blog I discuss genocide in Africa and the possibility of civil war in Lebanon with Austin Bay and Gerard Van der Leun in a podcast show at Pajamas Media . Africa Middle East Lebanon Rwanda Violence Genocide War ...

24 Oct 2006

Islamophobia (for lack of a better word)

Michael J. Totten's blog First of all, I want to publicly commend Dean Esmay for challenging right-wing bigotry (you heard me) against Muslims. It ought to go without saying that I am not referring to opponents, peaceful or otherwise, of Al Qaeda, ...

16 Nov 2006

Good Neighbors

Michael J. Totten's blog My Israeli friend Yael has created a group blog unlike any other I know of. It’s a Middle Eastern blog called Good Neighbors where both Arabs and Israelis contribute. So far she has signed up herself (obviously) and Tif from ...

19 Nov 2006

Just a Thought

Michael J. Totten's blog The Netherlands is considering a ban on burkas. Naturally this is controversial. Some Arab and Muslim countries — Tunisia, for instance — won’t let women wear even a headscarf, let alone a veil or a burka, on schools or ...

10 Dec 2006

Deal or no deal?

Michael J. Totten's blog By Abu Kais It is perhaps too early to discuss the so-called Arab initiative, which has reportedly won Hizbullah’s and Assad’s support. That this "breakthrough" was announced in Damascus, and not in Beirut, speaks ...

11 Dec 2006

Waiting for Assad

Michael J. Totten's blog By Abu Kais More details have emerged about the Sudanese envoy’s trip to Syria, during which he announced Damascus’s alleged support for the Arab initiative. According to the National News Agency, and an interview Voice of ...

1 Nov 2007

Wizbang Blog Awards for 2007

Michael J. Totten's blog I have been nominated for the Best Middle East or Africa Blog award for 2007 at Wizbang . If you think mine is better than the other fine blogs in this category and decide to go on over there and vote for me , I promise not ...

9 Nov 2007

Back from Vegas, Off to Fallujah

Michael J. Totten's blog I’m briefly home from the Blog World and New Media Expo in Las Vegas and will be leaving for Fallujah in less than 24 hours. Sorry I haven’t had much content here lately, but I’ve been busy and it has been difficult to find ...

1 Jun 2008

Letter from the Editor: Summer 2008

L iberals seem confused. The hand-wringing about Burma, the faux moral posturing about Darfur (coupled with the insistence that we leave Iraqis to their fates), George Clooney’s pleas on behalf of the subjugated—the stirring together of all of these ...

Dear Mr. President ...

You will no doubt have been advised against adopting any view that seems or seeks to attribute all events to one single cause. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the absolutely central and consistent role played, in so many of our difficulties, by the People’s Republic of China ...
1 Sep 2008

The Humanitarian Carnival: A Celebrity Vogue

As the spectacular opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics was broadcast, an American mother filmed her own “opening ceremony” from a dusty refugee camp in Chad. It was modest and moving—human theater that only grabbed attention because its creator happened to be a celebrity ...
5 Jan 2009

Vote for Me in the 2008 Weblog Awards

Michael J. Totten's blog I have been nominated for a 2008 Weblog Award in the Best Middle East or Africa Blog category. “Please go over there and vote for me”:http://2008.weblogawards.org/polls/best-middle-east-or-africa-blog/. I’m behind in the ...

6 Jan 2009

Stop Juan Cole

Michael J. Totten's blog “Juan Cole”:http://www.juancole.com/ is “decrying all the neocons”:http://sandbox.blog-city.com/abc_anything_but_cole.htm he’s forced to compete with in the 2008 Weblog Awards for Best Middle East or Africa Blog . He thinks ...

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